CARVEL, Floral Park

by Kevin Walsh

I never drink alone and I never eat ice cream alone. I am not and have never been an alcoholic: however, in years past, I have been known to polish off nearly an entire pint of ice cream, especially when I have an irritated throat. Hence, I never keep the stuff in the house. I will stop at a Carvel very rarely because I find ice cream nearly irresistible. But I’m usually there with someone else.

What I also find irresistible is older signage, and I found a bit of it in Floral Park.

The original Carvel, opened by Tom Carvel (1906-1990) in Hartsdale, New York in Westchester County 20 miles north of NYC, closed a few years ago to make way for a retail mall — business hadn’t been good. In 1934, Carvel was aided by a breakdown of his frozen custard truck in Hartsdale: he decided to sell the contents on the spot rather than let them spoil, and began to franchise in the Forties. By the mid-1980s, at Carvel’s peak, there were 865 ice cream franchisees. Carvel, you might recall, narrated his own commercials in his trademark unpolished style from the 1960s through the 1980s.

In Ridgewood, there’s a vintage Carvel complete with mechanical ice cream cones—at least until Hurricane Sandy polished them off in October 2012.

Here in Floral Park, Hillside and 266th Street, this is a modern Carvel storefront, but it does have two vintage neon Carvel script signs that are not a s frequently found as they used to be, Tom Carvel’s script may very well have been used to create this logo.

Another bit of franchise history can be found in Sheepshead Bay (some say Coney Island; see comments), on Sheepshead Bay Road and West 6th, where a rather unique design features Speedy Speedee, Ronald McDonald’s predecessor as Mickey D mascot.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”



Tony Catania July 15, 2020 - 12:08 pm

This McDonald’s Is Not Located In Sheep’s Head Bay Brooklyn NY.Its Location Is Brighton Beach Brooklyn NY.

Anonymous July 15, 2020 - 12:48 pm

those commercials always relaxed me!

Dee Mencha July 15, 2020 - 2:01 pm

Kevin my man, yer a-slippin’: That’s not Sheepshead Bay – it’s Coney Island! Hopefully this doesn’t indicate your road to – ahem – “Biden Beach”!

redstaterefugee July 16, 2020 - 9:33 am

Dee: Send my regards to Dr. Martin Abend (dec’d). & ask him why Biden is hidin’

Bruce Appelbaum July 15, 2020 - 3:53 pm

Back in the 1980s, I was living in Pakistan. One of my local colleagues had a relative who owned — wait for it — the Carvel franchise in Karachi — not far from the Bhutto mansion. The mix was shipped over from the US. It was not quite the same, because the guy behind the counter was licking the ice cream off his hands when it was our turn to order.

I guess it closed because more recently (2015) there was an announcement of the opening of the “first Carvel franchise” in Pakistan in Lahore (as part of a Cinnabon bakery).

Ed Findlay July 15, 2020 - 5:30 pm

The little guy’s name is actually Speedee, not Speedy…he is so old that he actually predates the use of the golden arches as their logo, and was in use from 1948 until 1962 when the arches and Ronald were used for advertising. He was retired for a very good reason: avoiding a brewing lawsuit from Alka-Seltzer over their similar looking mascot, Speedy, that was widely popular even if he was three years younger than Speedee. The company changed itself into a corporation and decided to go in a new direction with marketing, so the speedy drive-thru service was de-emphasized in favor of what we know of today

Kevin Walsh July 16, 2020 - 7:11 am

I watched the movie on how Ray Kroc swindled the McDonald Brothers. Get it in writing, is all I can say.

Tal Barzilai July 15, 2020 - 6:13 pm

I think that McDonalds you pictured might actually be in Coney Island, not Sheepshead Bay, and I do remember going to it one time..

El Queso July 15, 2020 - 7:10 pm

I remember watching WOR-TV (Secaucus) on cable as a kid, living in Alaska, and hearing Tom Carvel’s gravelly, non-professional voice-overs on those awesome commercials for Fudgy the Whale, all the holiday cakes, and especially Cookie Puss.
After a Carvel store opened in Anchorage, I remember nearly driving off the road the first time I heard Tom’s voice on the radio telling me to get my own Cookie Puss at the newest Carvel location on the Old Seward Highway.

Eric Costello July 15, 2020 - 8:19 pm

I can never think of Carvel without thinking of Fudgie the Whale or Cookie Puss, which tells you how ear-wormy the advertising was in the day.

Keevin July 15, 2020 - 9:27 pm

hat store in Floral Park used to be walk-up only – stainless steel and glass. The brick front has been added. The neon Carvel signs on the roof are the originals.

Steve July 16, 2020 - 8:41 am

Yeah, “Cookie Puss”!! What was he thinking? LOL!

Ron S July 16, 2020 - 9:29 am

I loved how they used the molds right side up and upside down to get different characters. Fudgie the whale and Cookie Puss both were inverted to make something else (although I can’t remember what!).

P-j Greiner July 18, 2020 - 11:59 am

The “Fudgie the Whale” mold was inverted to create “Dumpy the Pumpkin” for Halloween. Don’t forget “Cookie O’Puss” for Saint Patrick’s Day and “Cupie the Chochlate Nut” for Valentine’s Day.

Rubella Umbrella vs. Pica Balloon July 22, 2020 - 10:26 am

Santa Claus & Tom Turkey!

John July 17, 2020 - 5:36 am

I lived in Luna Park just down the street from that McD’s and visible in the picture, that’s still Coney Island, Brighton Beach starts over at papa Trump Village.

Nirmal July 22, 2020 - 7:17 pm

It’s funny u say that. A couple weeks back, I polished off two pints of lychee sorbet. It was hot n I was thirsty. Or thirsty hungry. U know what I mean. I was waiting for the bus to PT. Lol

Nirmal July 22, 2020 - 7:25 pm

Bruce that is awesome!!!! How did u come to live in Pakistan? Is your wife Pakistani? I’m sure you have some fascinating things to tell about my neighbour lol (some of my family is from Jammu.)


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